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Originally published March 11, 2013 at 8:23 PM | Page modified March 12, 2013 at 11:20 AM

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Hansen group starting ticket waitlist

In a statement that broke a monthlong silence, Chris Hansen said a priority waitlist for tickets for a future NBA team is being started this week.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Chris Hansen, leading the effort to bring the Sonics back to Seattle, broke more than a month of silence Monday to announce he is launching a priority waitlist for future tickets for a team.

Hansen had made no public comment since his group reached an agreement to buy the Sacramento Kings in January until releasing a statement Monday afternoon about the ticket plan.

Hansen's statement read that the waitlist will go live on SonicsArena.com at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The statement said, "in addition to helping us understand and prioritize the demand for tickets, registering your interest will be a critical step in demonstrating to the NBA and basketball fans around the country the unbelievable passion that exists in the Emerald City to BRING BACK OUR SONICS!"

While not stated, it's possible the move was timed to counter what has been a public-relations barrage from Sacramento forces in recent weeks aimed at keeping the Kings.

While Hansen's group has reached an agreement with the current owners, the Maloof family, to buy the team, the sale and relocation to Seattle must still be approved by the NBA's Board of Governors when it meets in New York April 18-19.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has assembled an ownership group to make an alternate offer to buy the team and build a new arena. Johnson's hope is the package will be enough to compel the NBA to turn down the Seattle offer and keep the team in Sacramento.

In his statement Monday, Hansen wrote that if efforts to bring the team to Seattle prove successful, "a Sonics sales team member will contact you in May to discuss available seating options."

The team would play at KeyArena for at least the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons while a new arena in the Sodo District is constructed.

He concluded by thanking fans for supporting his efforts, writing, "With this in mind, I'm reaching out to ask for your help once more. It's the home stretch people and we really need your support on this to help carry us past the finish line!"

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

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